Kuala Lumpur , or simply called KL by locals, is the federal capital and the largest city in Malaysia. Literally meaning muddy river confluence in Malay, Kuala Lumpur has grown from a small sleepy Chinese tin-mining village to a bustling metropolis of around 6.5 million (city-proper population of 1.8 million) in just 150 years. Kuala Lumpur is cultural melting pot with some of the world's cheapest 5-star hotels, impressive shopping districts, even better food and some of nature's wonders just an hour away, making this a dynamic city with much to offer.
Kuala Lumpur is a sprawling city and its residential suburbs seem to go on forever. The city proper, is a Federal Territory has an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) which consists of the city centre and its surrounding urban areas, managed by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall. It also merges with the adjacent satellite cities of Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang, Port Klang, Ampang, Puchong, Selayang/Rawang, Kajang and Sepang, all in the state of Selangor, which enclaves KL, and all with their seperate local authorities, creating a huge metropolis called Greater Kuala Lumpur or more commonly, Klang Valley. The city can be divided into the following areas, each of which offers a particular attraction or activity.
- Old City Centre/Old Town – This is the traditional core of Kuala Lumpur where you’ll find the former colonial administrative centre, with the Merdeka Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Selangor Club. This district also includes Kuala Lumpur’s old Chinese commercial centre which everyone refers to now as Chinatown.
- Golden Triangle – KL's equivalent of the Central Business District (CBD) located to the north-east of the old city centre/old town. This is where you will find many of the city’s shopping malls, five-star hotels and the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
- Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru – Located to the west of the Golden Triangle and an extension of the Old City Centre. Home to modern shopping malls, traditional street markets and budget accommodation options. Kampung Baru, the last Malay village of Kuala Lumpur, is a food paradise of street stalls and restaurants in traditional kampung setting.
- Brickfields – This area, located south of the city centre, is Kuala Lumpur’s Little India filled with saree shops and banana leaf rice restaurants. Kuala Lumpur’s main railway station, KL Sentral, is located here.
- Bangsar and Midvalley – Located south of the city, Bangsar is a popular restaurant and clubbing district while Mid Valley, with its Megamall, is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations.
- Damansara and Hartamas – Largely suburban, these two districts to the west of the city house some interesting pockets of restaurants and drinking areas. This district also merges into the northern part of Petaling Jaya.
- Ampang – Located east of the city, Ampang is home to Kuala Lumpur’s Little Korea and most foreign embassies and high commissions.
- Northern suburbs – This huge area to the north of the city is home to several natural wonders attractions, such as the Batu Caves, the National Zoo and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia.
- Southern suburbs – This district may not interest travellers much, although Kuala Lumpur’s National Stadium and National Sports Complex Bukit Jalil and Putrajaya are located here.
Malaya was a British colony until its independence on 31 August 1957.
The evening before, crowds gathered at the Selangor Club Padang (Green). As the clock on the State Secretariat Building (today's Sultan Abdul Samad Building) struck midnight, the crowd, led by the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, shouted "Merdeka" seven times. The Union Flag was lowered and the flag of the new country was raised to the strains of the national anthem, Negaraku. The Selangor Club Padang is today's Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square). The official handing over of power occurred later, during the day, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium).
Malaysia was created on September 16, 1963, when Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya in a new federation.
Like most of Malaysia’s cities and towns, the Chinese form a majority of the population, at 55%, in Kuala Lumpur. Despite this, Malays still constitute the majority of Malaysia’s population and occupy rural areas as they were an agrarian society. Indians too have populated both cities and rural areas. The result is a mix of cultures that meld together making Kuala Lumpur a modern and diverse capital.
Kuala Lumpur is said to be locked in an unofficial rivalry with nearby city-state Singapore. The Ethnic Chinese-dominated Singapore was separated from the indigenous Malay-majority Federation due primarily to irreconcilable ideological differences. Singapore strived to become a viable independent state and spurred rapid development, which the Malaysians sought to keep up with by investing in Kuala Lumpur. If Singapore has a first class airport, so does KL. When Singapore aspired for an efficient urban transport system, so did KL. As Singapore attains to be clean and green, so does KL. Everywhere you go, there are swats and strips of manicured public lawns and refreshing jungle-like parks - just like Singapore. If Singapore has an aquatic park and a bird park, so does KL. Same thing with an orchid park and butterfly park. If Singapore renovates and paints its colonial shop houses with tutti frutti colors, so does KL. If Singapore builds theme parks, so does KL. And if Singapore aims to be a shopping mecca with a plethora of shopping malls and all sorts of gimmicks, so did KL. What Singapore has, KL matches. So if you've been to Singapore, you will have seen it all in KL, a bit of déjà vu, or vice versa.
Both cities' locations on the geographically, economically and politically important Bangkok-Jakarta corridor have favoured their growth. The two cities are built from the same cultural ingredients, though in different proportions: Chinese culture is more dominant in Singapore.
Founded in 1857 under British rule as a tin mining outpost, Kuala Lumpur is fairly new as far as Malaysian cities go and lacks the rich history of Georgetown or Malacca. Due to the success of tin mining, Kuala Lumpur began to flourish but was deviated from gang fighting in the late 1800’s. Following this, Kuala Lumpur faced further misfortune after much of the city burnt down in a large fire as most buildings were built from wood and thatch. As a result buildings in Kuala Lumpur were required to be built with brick and tile. After these rough early years, Kuala Lumpur began to prosper and was made capital of the Federated Malay States in 1896.
During World War II, Kuala Lumpur and the Federated Malay States were occupied by the Japanese between 1942 to 1945. During this time the economy was virtually halted. Soon after the British regained power of Kuala Lumpur it was declared the Federated Malay States were to become the Malayan Union and was the beginings of independence. In 1952, Kuala Lumpur was one of the first cities to hold elections all over the Malayan Union. Malaysia's independence was declared in 1957 in front of huge crowds at what was later named Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), and Kuala Lumpur continued as the new nation's capital.
In 1972, Kuala Lumpur was given city status and by 1974 became a Federal Territory of Malaysia in its own right, hence losing the title as capital city of Selangor. The economic boom of the 1990s brought Kuala Lumpur the standard trappings of a modern city but was severely hit by the Asian financial crisis of 1997, which stalled the Malaysian economy and which led to the abandonment or delay of many construction projects. Today, Kuala Lumpur has become a modern city and capital of Malaysia, bristling with skyscrapers and modern transportation systems. Despite this, Kuala Lumpur has still kept some of its historical charm despite a short history.
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Check Kuala Lumpur's 7 day forecast at MET.gov.my
As Kuala Lumpur is only 3 degrees north of the Equator, you can expect fairly tropical weather year round. Shielded by the Titiwangsa Mountains to the east and Sumatra to the west, temperatures are relatively cooler than other cities within Peninsular Malaysia. Expect sunny days with temperatures above 30°C (86°F), slightly cooler evenings, particularly when afternoon showers occur and high humidity. Rainfall can be sporadic and quite torrential at times, but usually does not last very long. During the wet season, around October to March, the northeast monsoon brings heavy rainfall that can occasionally flood some areas of Kuala Lumpur. The months around June and July could be classed as the dry season, but even then it can frequently rain.
Occasionally, due to forest fires from Sumatra around May to October, haze can blanket the city and surrounding regions and it is best to remain indoors if you suffer from asthma.
As the weather can be hot and humid during the day, try to dress lightly if you expect to be outside and, whilst it may seem obvious, don't forget to remain hydrated. Also keep in mind that mosques and some temples have strict dress codes, although many do supply gowns to cover you if you are inadequately dressed. If you do find it too hot to be outside consider going to a shopping mall to relax and work that credit card whilst in air conditioned comfort.
Get in 
Malaysia's transportation systems are, by regional standards, pretty well functioning. Planes, trains, buses, and taxis are linked in a system conceived and constructed by, if not an order-loving Teuton, at least a dedicated amateur. The planners' aims are an ultra-modern, chic, European-style system that are a far cry from the city's humble barrio beginnings. The reality is a sound B+ with still a long way to go before hitting the top. A bewildering jumble of initials and acronyms assault any first time journey planner in KL and it will take at least a day to decipher the scheme of things.
By plane 
Kuala Lumpur is served by two airports: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang AIrport). KLIA is used by almost all airlines that fly to Kuala Lumpur whilst regional airlines, Firefly and Berjaya Air, utilize Subang Airport.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) 
Kuala Lumpur International Airport  (IATA: KUL ICAO: WMKK), about 50km south of the city, in the Sepang district of Selangor. The US$2.5bil glass and steel structure was inaugurated in 1998 and has been ranked as one of the world's top airports. It superseded Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, which is now only used for charter and commercial turboprop flights. Over 50 airlines call at KLIA. If arriving or departing from KLIA do take note that the two terminals, Main Terminal and Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) are about 20 Km away and does require some time to travel between the terminals.
Main Terminal 
The Main Terminal is what gives KL its world class airport status and most airlines that land at KLIA will use this terminal. In the Main Terminal, unscrupulous taxi drivers pretending to be customer service staff may try to steer tourists to much more expensive mini-buses or taxis and try to charge RM90 for them.
By train 
- KLIA Trains  link the Main Terminal to KL Sentral, the main transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur. Non-stop KLIA Ekspres trains (RM35 one way) take in 28 min and run every 20 minutes or every 15 minutes during peak hour (5AM-9AM and 4PM-10PM). KLIA Transit trains (also RM35 one way) take 36 min and stop at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya, and Bandar Tasik Selatan en route. Infuriatingly, Transit and Ekspres tickets are not interchangeable and the trains leave from different parts of both the airport and KL Sentral. Make sure you don't get them mixed up.
- From the airport, the first train (an express) leaves at 5.00AM; the last (a transit) leaves at 1.03AM. From KL Sentral, the first train (a transit) leaves at 4.33AM; the last (also a transit) is at 1.03AM. If taking a late night ekspres train from the airport, there may be no ticket sales available: buy the ticket when you arrive in KL Sentral.
- If flying Malaysia, Emirates, Cathay or Royal Brunei and taking either an Ekxpres or a Transit train to the airport, you can check in your baggage at the Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal in KL Sentral. See "Get around" section below on how to get to/away from KL Sentral.
- The KTM Komuter  station Nilai (1hr, RM5 from KL) has frequent connecting buses to KLIA operated by Airport Coach and Sepang Omnibus (1.5hr, RM3.50). This is the cheapest option to the main terminal but takes much longer than the direct train or bus (allow 3hr for the whole journey).
By bus 
- Airport Coach runs a one hourly express bus between KL Sentral and KLIA from 5AM to 10.30PM from Sentral, and 6.30AM to 12.30AM from KLIA. RM10 one way, or RM18 return.
- Star Shuttle  bus runs from KLIA to Kota Raya and Pudu Raya (both are near the Chinatown), RM12.50 one way.
- Sepang Omnibus runs local bus services directly to Seremban in Negeri Sembilan, Banting in Selangor and Sepang town where you can get connecting buses to/from Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. The buses may be a little basic and uncomfortable, and do not follow a timetable (at least, not one that is publicly known).
By taxi 
The drivers that hang around the airport and KL Sentral will try and scam you. If anyone approaches you asking you where you want to go, do not trust them: they will be shameless in inflating the price for you and lying about the unavailability of other options.
- From KLIA: Only Airport Limo limousines and budget taxis are allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. Buy coupons for these taxis at the Airport Limo counters just before you exit the international arrivals gate, or just outside the domestic arrivals gate. Insist on a budget taxi (fixed fare, RM74.80 to Kuala Lumpur), as the misnamed "premier" cars (RM100) are no better in quality. Given the price of the KLIA Trains, taxis are a reasonable option for anyone not travelling alone (so long as you don't let yourself get ripped off).
- To KLIA: Any taxi can bring passengers to KLIA, including Kuala Lumpur's metered red-and-white taxis, although getting drivers to use the meter is hard work. If you fail in getting them to use the meter, make sure you agree on a price before setting off and should cost RM80 to RM100 in total and should include the airport surcharge (RM12) and expressway toll fees (which taxis get at half price).
- Airport Limo Budget Taxi  from Kuala Lumpur city to KLIA is RM64.40 for a Budget class car, ☎ 1300 88 8989 (24 hr), ☎ +60 3 9223 8080 (8AM-12 midnight), +60 3 8787 3030 (12 midnight-8AM)
By road 
If you have your own wheels, KLIA is well connected to Peninsular Malaysia's expressway network. The airport is directly linked with the North South Expressway Central Link (known by its Malay abbreviation "Elite") about 70 km or nearly 1 hr away from Kuala Lumpur city centre. Exit the expressway at KLIA interchange for both the Main Terminal and LCCT.
Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) 
The Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) opened in March 2006, and is used by AirAsia , Tiger Airways , and Cebu Pacific . Though this terminal is across the runway from the Main Terminal Building, a trip between the two involves bussing for 20km (RM2.50). From the Main Terminal Building, these buses depart from the Bus Terminal on the Ground Floor of the Car Park C building. At the LCCT, they can be found at the bus bays in front of the terminal. From the KLIA Ekspres train station, head to Level 2 and follow the signs to Car Park C and the Bus Station.
A gigantic new LCC Terminal is being built close to the Main Terminal and will be called "KLIA2", officially opening on June 28, 2013. All operations from the former LCCT will be moved to the new terminal. The current Express Rail Link will be extended to KLIA2 and run both KLIA Ekspres and KLIA transit services to KL Sentral in the city centre.
By bus: Several bus operators run services to KL and other cities from the bus stands outside the terminal.
- SkyBus  and Aerobus  run direct services (RM8) every half hour or so to and from KL Sentral. SkyBus can be prebooked with an AirAsia ticket during the initial flight booking for RM7.20 one way - but beware, that if you miss your flight or change your mind and decide not to travel it, the SkyBus fare, as well as other additional services on that booking, will not be refunded.
- Star Shuttle  (Tel: +60-3-40438811) has direct buses (RM8) to the Pekeliling Bus Terminal, Chinatown in central KL, Batu 3 (3rd Mile) Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur and also direct connections to the Ipoh Teluk Bintan at Bidoh and Setiawan. They also serve direct line to several hotels in the city to LCCT. CHECK its website for any changes of routes & schedules.
By train: You cannot take a train directly to the LCCT. However, you can buy a "KLIA Transit to LCCT" ticket (RM12.50/22 one-way/return), which includes a KLIA Transit to ERL Salak Tinggi Station and a connecting bus to the LCCT.
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (IATA: SZB) (ICAO: WMSA), more commonly referred to as Subang Airport, was the country's main international airport until KLIA opened in 1998 and is currently designated for turboprop aircraft. The airport is much closer to the city centre and less crowded than KLIA, which can make it a convenient entry point for those flying from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand or other parts of Malaysia. The airport is 25 km from the city centre and the convenient way to get there is by taxi. An alternative is to take Rapid KL bus U81 (destination: Subang Suria/Mah Sing) from Terminal Jalan Sultan Mohammad next to Pasar Seni LRT station, which goes past the airport. The fare is RM3.00 one way and takes approximately 40 min in clear traffic. It can take nearly 1 hr and 30 min during peak rush hour. The airport is currently served by the following airlines.
- Firefly  is a Malaysia Airlines subsidiary that began operating from Subang in late 2007 and operates as a regional turboprop airline. Within Malaysia the airline flies between Subang and Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kerteh, Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Langkawi and Penang. Additionally, Firefly also operates international flights within the region between Subang and Indonesia - Batam, Medan, Pekanbaru; Thailand - Hat Yai, Koh Samui; and Singapore.
- Berjaya Air  is a domestic and regional airline, which focuses on resort and island destinations. Currently, the airline flies between Subang Airport and Langkawi, Pangkor Island, Penang, Redang Island, Tioman Island and internationally to Hua Hin, Thailand.
By bus 
Buses are a cheap, comfortable and popular transport option for Malaysians, with services reaching virtually all corners of Peninsular Malaysia and also to Thailand and Singapore. So it is no wonder that Kuala Lumpur has several bus stations (stesen bas or hentian) to handle long distance bus services. Despite the complexity of the network there is some pattern to the madness, with buses departing from particular stations depending on the region they travel to or from. To top that off, some buses may arrive at other locations including Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Bangsar LRT Station, Corus Hotel and the Malaysian Tourist Centre (MTC). Always confirm with the bus company where your bus will depart so that you do not miss your bus. In some cases you may need to exchange your ticket for a boarding pass, so try to arrive at the bus terminal 10-15 minutes before the departure time, although bus companies suggest 30 minutes.
Bus Terminals 
- Pudu Sentral (Formerly Hentian Puduraya), Jl Pudu (Near Plaza Rakyat LRT Station), ☎ +6 03 2078 6018. The most central bus station in Kuala Lumpur, serving north-bound buses. Is also a very convenient location to pre-purchase tickets, even if your bus departs from another station. Taxis are on the prowl around the station and can be pushy and may not use the meter. Always negotiate a price beforehand if you want a taxi or the alternative is to head to the nearby LRT station.
- Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), Jl Terminal Selatan (Near Bandar Tasik Selatan Station), ☎ +6 03 9051 2000. This gigantic and ultra-modern terminal serves south-bound destinations, including Malacca, Johor Bharu and Singapore. Despite its less than central location it is extremely well connected by public transport and taxis. Three train services, KTM Komuter, Sri Petaling LRT and KLIA Transit call at this bus station, making it easy to reach from Kuala Lumpur and KLIA.
- Hentian Putra, 45 Jl Putra (Near PWTC LRT & Putra Komuter Stations), ☎ +6 03 4042 9530. Mainly catering east-bound destinations this terminal is located in the city north in Tuanku Abdul Rahman. It is well serviced by the LRT and Komuter lines and taxis are available, but can be hard to find a taxi early in the morning or late at night.
- Hentian Duta, Jl Duta, ☎ +6 03 6201 4970. A small bus station serving express north-bound services. There are no public transport services to this station however if you head to Hentian Putra you can take a taxi to this bus station.
- Pekeliling Bus Terminal, Jl Tun Razak (Near Titiwangsa LRT & Monorail Stations), ☎ +6 03 4042 1256. This terminal handles some bus services to the East Coast, including Taman Negara and Local bus services.
Bus Companies 
There are quite a few bus companies that arrive and depart from Kuala Lumpur. Below are a list of the major companies that operate. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
- Transnasional ☎, +60 3 20703300 is Malaysia's biggest long-distance bus company. Economy class departures to Singapore's Lavender Street terminal at 8:45AM, 10:30AM, 1:30PM, 5:30PM, 10:30PM & 11:59PM - RM30 one-way and takes 5 hr.
- Konsortium Bas Ekspres Semenanjung (KBES ) ☎ +60 3 20701321) has several buses daily to/from the Golden Mile complex in Singapore.
- Alisan Golden Coach Express , Hentian Pudu Raya, ☎ +60 3 20322273 have three buses every day which leave Kuala Lumpur to Hatyai, departure at 9AM, 10PM, and 10:30PM, ticket around RM45, 7 hr journey.
By train 
The government owned Keretapi Tanah Melayu  (Malayan Railway or KTM) operates intercity (antarabandar) diesel rail services throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Trains arriving in Kuala Lumpur call at KL Sentral, the modern transportation hub in Brickfields, just south of the city centre, and operate as far flung as Singapore, Hat Yai in Thailand and Kota Bharu in Peninsular Malaysia's north-east. Train services are reasonably priced and operate as both day and overnight trains with various class options available. Day trains comprise of reclining and non-reclining seating options only while overnight trains comprise of two-berth private compartments and open plan bunk-bed berths with curtains (similar to Thai trains) for privacy. Seating options are also available for overnight trains.
The Electric Train Service (ETS), a subsidiary of KTM, is a daytime express train service that currently operates between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. ETS trains call at Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, the old main station, in addition to KL Sentral. The old Kuala Lumpur Station is served by KTM Komuter trains and nearby the Pasar Seni LRT Station on the Kelana Jaya line. If you need to connect to any other rail lines it would be recommended continuing on to KL Sentral. Taxi services are available at both stations, but you will find more at KL Sentral and can purchase a taxi coupon when there so that drivers cannot overcharge. See the Get Around section for more information.
Tickets for both KTM and ETS trains can be purchased at the KTM Intercity ticket office located on level two of KL Sentral or other stations which trains call at. You can also purchase your ticket online at the KTM e-booking site  up to two months in advance, but remember to print out the e-ticket. Additionally, timetables and seat availability can be found on the main KTM website . If you depart from Singapore Woodlands on a train do take note that you will be charged in SGD at a 1:1 ratio of the Malaysian ringgit price. This means a ticket that would cost RM20 from Malaysia will cost S$20 from Singapore, which is charged in ringgits, costing around RM50. See the Malaysia Get in by train section for how to avoid this.
By road 
Most important roads in Peninsular Malaysia lead to/from Kuala Lumpur. The city lies about midway along the North-South Expressway (Motorway) (NSE; route numbers E1 and E2) which runs from the Malaysia-Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah to Johor Bahru in the south, on the Malaysian side of the Causeway to Singapore. The main expressway exits for Kuala Lumpur on the NSE are Jalan Duta (from the north) and Sungai Besi (from the south). The Karak Highway (E8), which later turns into the East Coast Expressway, links Kuala Lumpur with the East Coast states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. For those who do not want to pay toll, Kuala Lumpur is on Federal Route One (the "Trunk Road") which, like the NSE, runs through all West Coast states of Peninsular Malaysia from Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah to Johor Bahru. Those travelling along the West Coast Road (Federal Route Five) should leave the road at Klang and get to Kuala Lumpur via the Federal Highway.
By boat 
Kuala Lumpur is not located by the sea, so it is not possible to get in directly by boat. The nearby Port Klang, about 40 km west of Kuala Lumpur, serves as the main port for this region. Ferries operate international services from Sumatra, Indonesia and a domestic service to Pulau Ketam. Cruise ships also call at Port Klang, usually on the way to other destinations in Asia, allowing for a day trip to Kuala Lumpur. For more information refer to the Port Klang article.
Get around 
Kuala Lumpur's ambitious public transport system is sufficiently developed to be fairly efficient and convenient, but much room for improvement lies in its integration. The city, like many developing cities, suffers from paralysing traffic jams periodically throughout the day. In the rush hours, consider combining various methods of transport.
By train 
Urban rail comes in four distinct flavours, which are not always fully connected. All lines, with the exception of the Ampang/Sri Petaling LRT lines travel through Kuala Lumpur's main transport hub, KL Sentral. However to reach the Ampang/Sri Petaling lines from KL Sentral involves a simple trip on the Kelana Jaya LRT to Masjid Jamek station.
- The LRT  is a light rail transit system and is the closest thing to a metro system in Kuala Lumpur, with three lines making up the system. The Ampang line and Sri Petaling line merge at Chan sow lin station and run on the same platform at all stations to Sentul Timur station. This line can be used for access to Chinatown and Pudu Sentral Bus Station at Plaza Rakyat station. The Kelana Jaya line travels through several key tourist areas including Pasar Seni station for Chinatown and the central market, KLCC station for the Petronas Towers and Suria KLCC shopping centre. Additionally you can alight at Masjid Jamek station and transfer to the the Ampang/Sri Petaling lines without leaving the ticketed area.
- The KL Monorail  is an entirely elevated line that loops through the Golden Triangle in a semi-circle. Use this line for access to Bukit Bintang, a major shopping area, or Bukit Nanas, for clubbing at Jalan P. Ramlee and the Petronas towers. Be aware that fares are a little more expensive than the LRT. Is often quite congested but plans are under way to its double capacity, with completion expected sometime in 2013.
- The KTM Komuter  is a commuter train service and comprise of two lines that meet in the city centre and run out to the suburbs. The service is not as frequent as other rail in Kuala Lumpur and it is not odd for trains to be late either. Despite this the rolling stock is quite modern and fares are cheaper than the LRT and Monorail. The KTM Komuter is great for travel to Batu Caves and Midvalley Mega Mall.
- The Express Rail Link  (ERL), completed in 2002, runs between KL Sentral and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) with 2 types of train services, KLIA Ekspres and KLIA transit. The KLIA Ekspres service runs non-stop between KL sentral and KLIA, taking 28 minutes, whilst the KLIA Transit service stops at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya/Cyberjaya and Bandar Tasik Selatan en route, taking 36 minutes.
In the past connectivity between the different lines was quite poor but upgrades to the system have helped to integrate a few key stations along the LRT and Monorail lines without purchasing separate tickets. To transfer between the Kelana Jaya line and Ampang/Sri Petaling lines, alight at Masjid Jamek. For transfers between the KL Monorail and Ampang/Sri Petaling lines then alight at either Huang Tuah or Titiwangsa stations. Beyond the above mentioned interchange stations the only way to transfer between lines is to purchase seperate ticket for each leg and potentially walk for some of the journey.
The Touch 'n Go  card (RM10 at major stations) can be used on all lines except the airport express. Photo ID is required to buy the card and it can only be bought on weekdays and part of Saturday. Concession prepaid cards are available but require proof of qualification.
A few quirks of the Kuala Lumpur Rail Network:
- The LRT lines have had various names in the past (Kelana Jaya line was the PUTRA line; Ampang line was the STAR line), don't be surprised to see signage different from the names listed here.
- KL Monorail's "KL Sentral" station is not that close to KL Sentral. The way between the two is signposted and generally has a steady stream of people you can follow. Briefly: from KL Sentral leave via the exit by Burger King, go down the stairs, turn left and follow road to the street corner. After crossing the road, turn right and continue until you reach KL Sentral Monorail station.
- Trains usually follow a timetable, with the period between trains decreased to two/three minutes at peak hours. However, if the "driverless" trains of the Kelana Jaya line breakdown, services may be disrupted for two hours or more, although such breakdowns are few and far between.
By bus 
Double-decker KL Hop-on Hop-off  sightseeing tour buses serve 42 notable places. There is free Wi-Fi on board. An information commentary is given through headphones. Tickets (valid for 24 or 48hrs) give unlimited use during their validity. Children under 5 ride free. The buses are scheduled every half hour but waits may be as long as two hours due to traffic jams, so try to maximize use of the service outside rush hours.
Two new FREE bus services started 1st September 2012. The purple bus service starts at Pasar Seni and travels to the shopping area of Bukit Bintang where it links up with the green bus service that loops around KLCC. 
RapidKL  operates a cheap and comprehensive public bus network in and around Kuala Lumpur, but low frequencies (2-3 per hour on most routes) and the near-total lack of signs makes this a poor option for the casual visitor. The buses themselves have clear destination information; so if you happen upon one heading in the right direction, jump on board - though be prepared for cramped waits in rush hour traffic. For those (few) attractions best visited by bus, specific bus information is given at each place of interest on this page. If you do venture on board a RapidKL bus, it's worth nothing that these buses are broadly divided in three categories:
- Bandar (B) routes are city centre shuttles,
- Utama (U) buses travel to outlying suburbs
- Tempatan (T) buses are feeder services for train stations.
For all three RapidKL routes, you can either buy zone-based single tickets (RM1 for Zone 1, up to RM3 for Zone 4) on board, or use a Touch 'n Go card (not sold on board). In addition, Ekspres (E) services use the highways and cost a flat RM3.80. Buses run from 6AM-11PM or so, with no night services.
By taxi 
Normal red and white taxis (RM3 first 2km, then around RM0.90/km) and bright blue executive taxis (RM6 flagfall + a slightly higher per kilometre rate) are good options if you can get them to use the meter. There are also various small surcharges for radio call (RM2), baggage (RM1 per piece), etc.
Drivers are less likely to use the meter when demand exceeds supply, such as during the rush hour or when it rains. Prices then become negotiable (before setting off) and inflated (2-10 times the meter price). This is illegal but realistically the only thing you can do is walk away and find a different driver. A cab hailed off the street is more likely to use the meter than one that stalks tourist spots. If stuck with a driver that won't use the meter, negotiate hard: RM5 should cover most cross town trips of 15 min or so, even with traffic. If you are staying in an expensive hotel, hide your affluence and give a nearby shopping mall as your destination instead. Malay drivers are generally more inclined to use the meter than Chinese or Indian ones.
After midnight, meter prices are increased by 50% (e.g. at 1AM, if the meter shows RM12, you pay RM12+6).
During rush hour it's generally best to combine public transport with taxis.
A few popular places (notably both airports, KL Sentral, Menara KL and Sunway Pyramid Megamall) enforce a prepaid coupon systems, which generally work out more expensive than using the meter, but cheaper than bargaining. Taxis from Pavilion Shopping Mall's taxi counter cost the meter with a RM2 surcharge.
Some taxi drivers will hang around near hotels offering tours similar to those offered by established companies. Some of these drivers are quite knowledgeable and you may end up with a specially tailored, private tour for less than the cost of an official tour. Know the going rates before driving a bargain!
If you get so off the beaten track that you need to call a cab, here are some telephone numbers:
- Comfort Cabs ☎ +60 3 6253 1313
- Sunlight Taxi Unicablink ☎ 1300 800 222 (www.sunlighttaxi.com)
- Public Cab ☎ +60 3 6259 2020
- Uptown Ace ☎ +60 3 9283 2333
- Keeganlam Executive Taxi services ☎ +60 17 6632696
- Executive Taxi Tour Service ☎ +60 14 2675934
By car 
Kuala Lumpur has good quality roads, but driving in the city can be a nightmare with massive traffic jams, a convoluted web of expressways and oft-confusing road signage. If driving, be especially aware of sudden lane changes by cars and reckless motorcyclists who tend to weave in and out of traffic. Do not park at the road of busy districts such as Bangsar or Bukit Bintang because other cars might lock you in by parking next to you in the 2nd or 3rd lane. Use covered car parks or park a bit off the beaten path, and then walk back. Renting a car is an option for travelling in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of Malaysia. You may rent a car from the provider below:
- Mayflower Car Rental, Mayflower Building, 18 Jalan Segambut Pusat, ☎ +60 3 6253 1888, firstname.lastname@example.org, 
On foot 
The old centre of Kuala Lumpur fairly compact and the old buildings in various state of repair are great for exploring on foot. Even plodding between the colonial area and the new glass and steel sector (see walking tour below) is enjoyable outside the hottest hours of 11AM to 3PM. Major roads are well lit, making evening strolling undaunting and pleasant. Signs are clear and well placed and pavements are wide and uncluttered, but slippery in the rain. Shady tree-lined walkways provide shade on some of the larger roads. Pedestrian crossings are common and are generally respected by drivers. Jaywalking is technically illegal but overlooked (on-the-spot fine: RM 20/30 for tourists/locals if unlucky).
This circular walking tour (2-3 hr) starts in Chinatown and loops through the modern Golden Triangle, missing the historic buildings of the old centre:
- Start in Chinatown (Petaling Street)
- Head towards the vertically striped wedge of the Maybank building. Head along Jalan Pudu, passing to the left of Pudu Sentral bus station. After 800 m, turn on to Jalan Bukit Bintang at the Royale Bintang Hotel.
- Jalan Bukit Bintang is a major shopping street: stop for coffee at Bintang Walk, or check out the electronics mega-mall, Plaza Low Yat.
- When Bintang meets Jalan Sultan Ismail and the monorail, turn left, following the monorail.
- After 1km of Sultan Ismail, turn right on to Jalan P. Ramlee. This lead to the Petronas Twin Towers. Be amazed!
- Head back down Jalan P. Ramlee
- Merge onto Jalan Raja Chulan near the KL Tower and head back to the Maybank building and Chinatown.
If you're fortunate enough to do this walk on a typical Sunday afternoon you will find a calm and attractive city.
Disabled Travelers 
Like many cities in SE Asia, KL presents a great challenge for travelers with mobility impairments. Sidewalks are often in disrepair, curbs are high, and curb cuts are often missing or inadequate. Wheelchair users will frequently find their path of travel obstructed (poorly designed or narrow sidewalks, parked cars, motorcycles, fences, stairs, trees, etc), and will rarely be able to travel more than 50 meters without having to backtrack or divert to the road. In many areas of the city, it is virtually impossible to travel without an assistant. Crossing the road or having to wheel on the road (in case the sidewalk is obstructed) can be very dangerous, as many drivers do not expect, nor yield to, wheelchair users. You will occasionally find accessibility features like ramps or elevators obstructed or unserviceable. A notable exception are the the KLCC and Bukit Bintang areas, where shopping malls and pedestrian areas are built to modern accessibility standards. Public buildings, hotels and malls provide an adequate supply of handicap bathrooms. Much of the rail system is inaccessible, most notably the monorail (which is in the process of being fitted with stair lifts, but is currently off limits). Some buses are equipped with ramps, but they are assigned haphazardly and do not run on a fixed schedule. Many locals will not be used to seeing travelers in wheelchairs, but will be generally helpful.
- Individual listings can be found in Kuala Lumpur's district articles
Kuala Lumpur is short on must-see attractions: beyond the Petronas Twin Towers where part of the film Entrapment was filmed. The real joy of KL lies in wandering randomly, seeing, shopping and eating your way through it.
KL hosts an amazing variety of architectural delights. The grandest old British colonial buildings lie in the city centre and include the former offices of the Colonial Secretariat (now the Sultan Abdul Samad Building) on Merdeka Square and the old Kuala Lumpur Railway station. They blend themes from the architecture of Britain and North Africa. On Merdeka Square's west side, looking like a rejected transplant straight from Stratford-upon-Avon is the Royal Selangor Club. Near Merdeka Square is Masjid Jamek, a charming Moorish-style mosque set at a confluence on the Klang River. The National Mosque, Masjid Negara, (1965) celebrates the bold ambitions of the newly independent Malaysia. The National Monument in the pretty Lake Gardens is inspired by the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Also in the lake gardens is Carcosa Seri Negara, the former residence of the British High Commissioner, which now houses an upmarket hotel and colonial-style tea rooms. While some buildings in the high-rise Golden Triangle, such as the KL Tower, are uninspired copies of other famous structures, the Petronas Twin Towers are truly marvelous.
Within the city centre is also the fascinating narrow streets of Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur's traditional commercial district, with its many Chinese shops and places to eat.
KL is hot, humid and sometimes crowded, so schedule some cooling off in air-conditioned shopping malls or restaurants. You may find that most attractions are only crowded on weekends and holidays and are otherwise deserted on weekdays.
See the respective district pages for more details.
- Individual listings can be found in Kuala Lumpur's district articles
Kuala Lumpur is well known for its wide range of shopping and eating options, which are adequately covered in the Eat and Buy sections of this article and listings within the district articles. Skyscraper Gazing is the obvious option, with glass and steel abound and excellent views available from the Petronas Towers  or the KL Tower (Menara KL)  viewing decks, both located in the Golden Triangle.
Arts & Culture 
Like much of Kuala Lumpur, there is an interesting mix of arts and culture to experience, ranging from traditional Malay to Islamic to modern. Several good theatres and performance halls have emerged as part of Malaysia's drive to encourage greater cultural expression. These include the National Theatre (Istana Budaya) and the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre  in the northern part of the city, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (Dewan Filharmonik)  in the Twin Towers, and the Actors Studio at Lot 10. Leading museums in the Old City Centre are the National Museum , which covers the region's history, and the well-regarded Islamic Arts Museum , which houses a small but captivating collection.
While Kuala Lumpur is more of a concrete jungle compared to other parts of the country, there are some natural gems that are accessible by public transport. The Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM)  is a great escape from the busy life of Kuala Lumpur. The hikes are easy and you can go up a canopy walkway for RM5 to get a good view of KL on a clear day. There is a nice tea house in the FRIM compound where you can sample various types of local teas and snacks. Get there early as it is more likely to rain later in the day. You can get to FRIM via KTM Komuter. Stop at Kepong and grab a short taxi ride.
For something more centrally located try the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, located at the base of Menara KL.The forest provides for an easy trek that you can enjoy on your own; but the many specimens are likely more appreciated through guided tours which are free and can be arranged from KL Tower. The massive Lake Gardens, located in the western part of the Old City Centre is another great option and you could literally spend a whole day venturing around the park. Within Lake gardens are many attractions and various parks including the KL Bird Park , Orchid Garden, Hibiscus Garden, Deer Park, Mouse Deer Park and a butterfly park. An indoor alternative is the Aquaria KLCC, in the Golden Triangle near the KL Convention Centre. The aquarium contains some 5,000 varieties of tropical fish.
Pampering and spas can be found in several five-star hotels and independent centres in the Golden Triangle. There's also nail parlours and beauty salons, which are generally good value, there's also high-end ones offering similar services for a premium. Reflexology and foot massage places are everywhere, especially in Bukit Bintang in the Golden Triangle and in Chinatown.
For those who are are willing to be a bit more adventurous, try hunting down a fish foot spa and relax whilst fish nibble away at your feet. However do be careful which one you go to as some are of low standard and you may get an infection or even a blood borne disease. Try a fish spa in a tourist area as these tend to be better maintained.
Urban sports such as golfing, cycling, running, jogging and horse riding are common in Kuala lumpur. If you’re into rock climbing, the Batu Caves in the Northern suburbs is popular. However given Malaysia's stunning terrain, you’re better off heading to other places for anything more strenuous or challenging.
You can also watch the local football match at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras. Kuala Lumpur FA is a football team based in Kuala Lumpur and currently plays in the top divison of football in Malaysia. the Malaysia Super League. Match schedule and fixture can be seen at the KLFA website.
Volunteering is not often the first thing you may considering doing when in Kuala Lumpur, however there are various projects to give your time and help out the community. Regardless of spending one day or even a week or more volunteering for a cause, you will probably find something that you are interested in. Below are some volunteering options available within Kuala Lumpur.
- Nur Salam (Chow Kids), 24A-B Jl Chow Kit, ☎ +60 3 4045 4021. Volunteer with the street kids of Chow Kit (KL) to "help improve the quality of life for the children of Chow Kit whose parents are usually former and current drug addicts & sex workers in Kuala Lumpur". Chow Kids offers training for volunteers who wish to spend any amount of time interacting and helping these deserving children.
- SPCA Selangor, Jl Kerja Air Lama, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, ☎ +60 3 4256 5312/+60 3 4253 5179. SPCA Selangor is an animal welfare organisation dedicated to protecting defenseless animals and to alleviate their suffering. Volunteer to help out at the animal shelter, SPCA's marketing and communication department or SPCA's outreach events.
- Zoo Negara, Hulu Kelang, Ampang, Selangor, ☎ +60 3 4108 22219, e-mail: email@example.com. Love animals? Volunteer at the National Zoo - Zoo Negara outside the city. Simply fill out the Volunteer Form on the website and show up for a shift at the zoo in a variety of areas. Their volunteer website gives for more information.
- Individual listings can be found in Kuala Lumpur's district articles
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur is one of travel's greatest pleasures! Kuala Lumpur alone has 66 shopping malls and it is the retail and fashion hub for Malaysia. Goods are available in every price bracket.
Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia's premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers. Kuala Lumpur's premier shopping district, the Bukit Bintang area in the Golden Triangle, resembles Tokyo's Ginza, New York's Fifth Avenue and Singapore's Orchard Road and has the highest concentration of shopping outlets in Kuala Lumpur, which cater to varying budgets. Bukit Bintang, which is part of the Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, spans over 3 roads, namely Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Imbi and Jalan Sultan Ismail. It houses various cafes, alfresco (open air) dining outlets and shopping complexes such as Berjaya Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Kuala Lumpur Plaza, Lot 10, Low Yat Plaza, Pavilion KL, Starhill Plaza and Sungei Wang Plaza. Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is a recent addition to the cluster of shopping malls in this area and houses a wide range of international retail brands in an ultra-modern complex. Fans of electronic gadgets would delight in the multitude of choices at Low Yat Plaza, whilst shoppers hunting for the latest in affordable Asian style should definitely check out Berjaya Times Square and Bukit Bintang / Sungei Wang Plaza. It is also the location of the largest single department store in Malaysia, SOGO Kuala Lumpur which is located at a landmark site on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, one of the best known shopping streets for locals in Kuala Lumpur. Several popular malls lie outside the Golden Triangle. The Bangsar and Midvalley areas are home to some of the best shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, namely the MidValley Megamall and the adjacent upmarket The Gardens, the more cozy Bangsar Village and Bangsar Shopping Centre in Bangsar. The Damansara area north-west of Kuala Lumpur, though not in the city-proper, it is one of the high concentration of shopping outlets in Kuala Lumpur. It houses various shopping malls like The Curve, e@Curve, Ikano Power Centre, IKEA, Cathay Multi Screen Cinemas, Courts Megastore, NiuXehSui Ara Damansara and 1 Utama (one of the top shopping centres in Malaysia). There are also many shopping malls in the neighbouring cities of Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. Malls such as Sunway Pyramid Megamall  in Petaling Jaya and Empire Subang in Subang Jaya are very nicely designed, and it is worth making the trip down to have a look even if you don't plan to buy anything. Despite the onslaught of malls, Kuala Lumpur still offers some Asian tradition with traditional shopping streets and markets. The best area for such shopping is Chinatown in the City Centre. This district is also the best place to hunt for souvenirs, especially in Central Market, a former produce market which has been converted into an art and craft market. It is also known as Pasar Seni in Malay. The Little India near Jalan Masjid India offers various fabric for use. Most of the fabrics are imported from countries like Indonesia, India and China while some are locally produced. Indonesian traditional batik and songket are traditional fabric commonly found in Central Market. For greater satisfaction choose the hand made ones. You may be interested to buy ready made baju kurung or baju kebaya (the traditional Malay blouse). For peace of mind, buy from the bigger stores. Some Thai handicrafts are also sold here, alongside handmade Malaysian wooden souvenirs. Since 2000, the Ministry of Tourism of Malaysia has kick-started the mega sale event for all shopping in Malaysia. The mega sale event is held thrice in a year—in March, May and December—where all shopping malls are encouraged to participate to boost Kuala Lumpur as a leading shopping destination.
- Individual listings can be found in Kuala Lumpur's district articles
Malaysian food is amazing, making Kuala Lumpur an excellent place to eat as it hosts cuisine from all around the country and beyond. Most restaurants close by 10PM, but in the city centre there's always a few 24hr kedai mamak (curry houses) or fast food places if you get stuck.
Delicious food can be very cheap too: just head to the ubiquitous roadside stalls or kedai kopi (literally coffee shop, but these are all about the food). These shops operate like a food court with many stalls selling a variety of food. Some coffee shops have tables and chairs by the roadside. Chinatown (especially Jalan Sultan, Jalan Hang Lekir and Jalan Petaling) in the city centre and Jalan Alor in the Golden Triangle have some of the greatest concentrations of coffeeshops and stalls. They mostly open only at night.
Also extremely common are kedai mamak (curry houses). One famous collection of streetside Mamak stalls is at Jalan Doraisamy near the Heritage Row (Tuanku Abdul Rahman). Along with full-blown curries, these places also serve roti canai (generally RM1 each), a filling snack that is almost half chapati, half pancake but certainly wholly delicious. It is served with dhal and curry sauce.
Shopping malls' food courts provide cheap Malaysian food in more hygienic conditions, although the prices will be a little higher. Lot 10 shopping mall in the Golden Triangle has a collection of 20 street vendors who were invited to relocate in the food court. While there are some international choices, the specialty here is Chinese.
Ethnic generalizations: Malay food can be found in Jalan Masjid India and Kampung Baru in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman district. Chinatown is the best place for Chinese (especially Cantonese) food, although all kinds of Chinese cuisine, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, can be found all over Kuala Lumpur. Head to Lebuh Ampang in the city centre and Brickfields for Indian food. Bangsar has many high-end restaurants offering Western food. If you are dying for Korean food, head to Ampang Jaya. A lot of Arab and Middle Eastern restaurants have mushroomed in Bukit Bintang, Cyberjaya and Damai.
- Individual listings can be found in Kuala Lumpur's district articles
Kuala Lumpur has quite a vibrant night-life and the Golden Triangle is the epicentre of most of the partying which goes on in the city. Jalan P. Ramlee, just south of KLCC, is Kuala Lumpur's central clubbing area, while the action also spills onto Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Pinang and Jalan Perak. Nearby Bukit Bintang also throbs with action, and its neon-lit nightclubs, many of them with hostesses, certainly have a more Asian feel to them. Heritage Row, in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman district, is fast catching up as a popular nightspot. It occupies a row of refurbished colonial-era shop houses and is now home to one of Kuala Lumpur's swankiest clubs and trendy bars; strictly for well heeled visitors and locals. It is on Jalan Doraisamy just off Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Dang Wangi. Bangsar has long been one of the busiest places in Kuala Lumpur after the sun goes down. The action is around Jalan Telawi and its side streets, and is definitely the place to go for clubbing and deafening music. Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara in the Damansara and Hartamas district have popular pubs and some clubs as well as nice coffee places. You may be able to find live performances in some of the outlets. After a tiring night out, Malaysians like to head to Mamak stalls - street side stalls or shops operated by Indian Muslims - which offer a range of non-alcoholic beverages like teh tarik (frothed tea) and light food. In fact, these stalls have also become night hangouts in their own right, and many outlets have installed wide-screen projectors and TV where they screen football matches. Most outlets are open 24 hours. They are found all over the city and are a wonderful part of the Malaysian night scene. Another trend that has hit Malaysia is the kopitiam fad, a more upmarket version of the traditional Chinese coffee shop. These mostly open during the day and offer some of the best tea and coffee and light meals and snacks like nasi lemak (coconut flavoured rice with fried anchovies and peanut) and the ever popular toast with kaya (coconut curd, used as a spread). If you prefer Western style coffee, there are many coffee outlets in Kuala Lumpur: most of them are part of international and local chains like Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and San Francisco Coffee. Most of them can be found in shopping malls.
- Individual listings can be found in Kuala Lumpur's district articles
Budget accommodation can be found everywhere; dormitory beds can cost as little as RM12 per night, though RM20 and higher is common. Find the cheap ones online if cost is an issue. Increasingly, newer & better ones are opening in the Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Chow Kit and Jalan Ipoh areas, the so-called growth areas in the city centre. An example is the Tune Hotel - Downtown KL on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Chow Kit area). If you are willing to take the 10 minute LRT to the main attractions, then hotels can be found for as little as US$16 per night with free WiFi, A/C, and breakfast often included. If you are arriving on the overnight buses (arriving at 4AM) from the east coast islands, buses will stop at Hentian Putra in the Chow Kit area. Mid-range hotels are comparatively poor value in Kuala Lumpur, and it is worth it to spend a little extra (or look a little harder) for a true luxury hotel on the cheap. Kuala Lumpur is similar in price to Bangkok for 5 star luxury hotels, with rooms available for as little as RM400 or even less (internet rate for single occupancy in the luxury 5 star "Traders Hotel" is around US$100. Other luxury hotels include The Hilton, Le Meridien, Shangrila and JW Marriot. Prices will vary seasonally.
Stay safe 
Crime is not rampant in Kuala Lumpur. The perception of crime is high, but in recent years the Malaysian police have managed to reduce crime significantly in and around urban Kuala Lumpur. Reports of violent crime against foreigners are uncommon but instances of pick pocketing and bag snatching have risen in recent years.
Kuala Lumpur is generally very safe for travellers (it is locals who are often the targets of crime), but be wary of over-friendly locals trying to con you. Police presence, particularly around tourist areas and at night has increased in recent years.
Walking in the city is usually fine but, as anywhere, caution must be exercised, especially if alone. Snatch thieves can be rather ruthless: women have been knocked unconscious by bag snatchers on motorbikes. If this happens to you, let go of the bag rather than be dragged several metres and risk injury. Hold your bag away from the street side and try not to appear flashy if possible. Be wary in alleyways or parking grounds that appear dark and deserted, petty thieves with knives or firearms might mug you.
During the rains, pavements and streets become small rivers and crossing a street can be an adventure. Pavements become as slippery as ice so wear proper footwear.
Be careful of a poker scam that involves friendly locals. They normally target lone tourists in popular tourist places. It starts with a friendly approach and an invitation to their home to chat and learn about your country. Then comes poker, accumulated losses and the loss of your cash and jewellery. Such scams can also happen through couchsurfing.
The bogus cop scam is usually run by Middle-Easterners. You will be stopped by "plain-clothed police officers" on the pretext of checking your travel documents. You will be brought to a secluded area in the process and made to handover your wallet. Should you be stopped, you have the right to insist that you be taken to the nearest police station before saying/showing anything.
Taxis are generally safe, but they often refuse to use the meter and a few cabbies will gouge tourists mercilessly. If they refuse to use the meter, then take another taxi, as by law they are required to use the meter. However, if you are desperate to use that taxi, always agree on the fare in advance, and try to get an estimate of the cost from a local before you climb on board. Many also pretend to not know your hotel and will bring you to their preferred hotels by saying that your hotel is in a bad area, closed or far. A good idea would be to buy a public transport map and get well acquainted with the locations of stations, train times, etc. If you can use a train or bus to get to a place, it would be cheaper and safer to do so.
Also watch out for counterfeit banknotes (such as RM50) given as change by a dishonest taxi-driver: the easiest way to tell being to hold it up to the light to see the continuous silver strip. If in doubt, avoid and refuse RM100 notes.
Malaysian law requires that visitors carry their passport at all times, and both police and "RELA" (civil volunteers) carry out spot checks for illegal immigrants.
Locals are very friendly to the tourists, and many in Kuala Lumpur can speak decent English. Communication with the locals is almost as easy as it is in Singapore and significantly better than in Bangkok or many other Asian countries. Greet people with a warm smile and they will be happy to show you around. Be friendly: if you are lost, just ask anyone smartly dressed on the street.
Stay healthy 
Tap water in Kuala Lumpur is heavily chlorinated and thus safe, but unfortunately the pipes that carry it may not be. Most locals boil or filter it before use; alternatively, bottled water is cheap and ubiquitous. There is no malaria in the city, but dengue fever can be a problem at times, so take precautions against mosquitoes. Between May and October, Kuala Lumpur is occasionally shrouded in dense haze from forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo, which can be a health concern for asthmatics and pretty unpleasant for everybody. However, the haze comes and goes, and varies greatly from year to year: it was terrible in 2006, but non-existent in 2007, and had started again in 2008 and very clean after 2009 onward.
Kuala Lumpur is ostensibly a liberal city and wearing revealing clothes will rarely cause major problems. However, avoiding overly revealing clothes goes a long way towards blending in. Many mosques and temples require covering up, and you will get more respect from officialdom if you dress up a little. Many places of worship including all mosques will require you to take your shoes off before entering. When eating with hands rather than cutlery, do not eat with the left hand in public as it is considered impolite. If you can speak just a few words of the four main local languages, namely Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese (especially Cantonese), Tamil and English, it will ingratiate you a lot with the locals. Also, while you may drink in pubs, restaurants and bars, public drunkenness is not tolerated. You will be more vulnerable to getting robbed or will find yourself in the back seat of a police car.
Internet cafés are quite plentiful in Kuala Lumpur and you can find them in most shopping centres. If you have your own laptop, Maxis'  WLAN service is the best deal around, a prepaid RM15 card gets you unlimited use for 2 weeks. Many hotels provide free internet access and connections. Free Wi-Fi is also available in many cafes, restaurants and shopping centres. A few examples:
- Malaysia Tourism Centre (MTC), 109 Jalan Ampang (between KLCC and Dang Wangi), . Formerly MATIC, this tourist information centre has a wealth of information on Malaysia, occasional cultural shows, surly staff and semi-crippled but free PCs for browsing the Net.
- Starbucks, Coffeebean, Burger King and Mcdonalds - offer free Wi-Fi
- Air Asia Counter in KL Sentral Several computers with internet access are available for you to check out the Air Asia website (and maybe glance at your e-mail or the news quickly)
Embassies and High Commissions 
The Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains an up to date list of foreign missions within Malaysia, many present in Kuala Lumpur. For some countries, where a foreign mission is not present within Malaysia, it lists a nearby mission within other countries.
Go next 
Day/Weekend trips 
- Genting Highlands - 40 min by road on the East Coast Highway, has cooler weather, theme parks for the kids and a casino for the adults. Easily accessible by buses from KL Sentral.
- Ipoh - Around 90 minutes by train, Ipoh is well known for its food and colonial buildings. Relax in the local hot springs, hunt down the famous Rafflesia flower, shop in the local night markets or even try out white water rafting. Venture out from the main city area to one of several caves and cave temples.
- Kuala Selangor - 1 hr north-west of Kuala Lumpur, is notable for its fireflies that flash in unison, and seafood restaurants.
- Klang - Royal capital of Selangor state with a few interesting old buildings and restaurants.
- Malacca - if you have more days to spend in Malaysia, a must-visit is the historical town of Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Steeped with history of its Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial period, you will find this town to be rich in culture and history.
- Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) - at the mouth of the River Klang and its Chinese fishing villages make for an interesting day trip. Take the train to Port Klang (RM5, 1h30) then the boat to the island (RM7, 45 min).
- Putrajaya - Malaysia's megalomanic new federal administrative centre is 30 km to the south (20 min by KLIA Transit train).
Further afield 
- Bangkok - The bustling cosmopolitan capital of Thailand, around 2 hour by plane, with an excellent array of food, a myriad of temples, cheap shopping and a popular nightlife scene. Nearby day trips to Kanchanaburi or the ancient capital Thai of Ayutthaya are a great for a quick escape from hectic Bangkok.
- Cameron Highlands - About 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands offers cooler weather and lovely highland landscapes. You will be able to visit tea plantations, vegetable farms, strawberry farms and nurseries, as well as soak in the colonial history of this plateau. Colonial cottages and bungalows as well as modern hotels, resorts and luxurious hilltop retreats can be found here. Bird-watching, jungle trekking and other outdoor activities are also available.
- Langkawi - Officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah. About an hour from KL by plane, Langkawi is a popular tourist resort destination that has tax-free status and plenty of sun, sand & surf. Scuba diving, snorkelling, Kayaking and jungle trekking are just some of the many activities to do in Langkawi.
- Penang - Penang Island is also a must-visit destination well known as the 'food paradise' of Malaysia. The state capital, Georgetown, is protected as UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich Chinese culture, century-old clan houses, majestic temples and historical colonial monuments. Penang is a very popular destination for Malaysians and going there during the local holidays could be hectic.
- Sumatra - One of the many islands of Indonesia, the primary attraction of Sumatra is nature. The island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and named The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. Filled with jungles, volcanoes and lakes there is lots to see and do for the adventurous traveller. Reach Sumatra by boat from Port Klang, near KL or by Plane.
- Taman Negara - The largest National Park on Peninsular Malaysia with plenty of activities for those wanting to connect with nature include bird watching, cave exploring, Jungle trekking and night safaris. For something to eat try out one of the floating restaurants and relax while time goes by after a long day in the park.